Cold War Kids: Mine Is Yours (Downtown) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Cold War Kids

Mine Is Yours


Feb 09, 2011 Issue #34 - Year End 2010 - Sufjan Stevens Bookmark and Share

Fine purveyors of muscular power pop, Cold War Kids make a play for stardom on their third album, Mine Is Yours. Playing to arenas that have yet to be filled is a dangerous game, one dependent mostly upon confidence and a specific brand of talent that translates easily to a bigger venue. Arcade Fire is the best-case scenario: a band that hasn’t lost its subtlety or rewritten its songbook to suit the masses. Cold War Kids seem to be aiming for something more akin to Kings of Leon, and the songs bear this out. (As does hiring a producer who’s worked with them.)

“Finally Begin” has a definitively Kings of Leon-style guitar tone, and elsewhere Nathan Willett’s vocals echo those of Caleb Followill, with lots of drawn-out yelps and moans. Willett has a beautiful, strong voice, one capable of the kind of jump the band shoots for, so it’s frustrating to feel like they’re trying on someone else’s clothes. “Let’s skip the charades/Can we just speak plain?” Willett sings on “Skip the Charades,” the biggest, and also worst, grab at a radio-friendly (is there such thing anymore?) hit.     

These particular clothes don’t suit Cold War Kids as well as their scruffier past. The strange thing is Cold War Kids seemed capable of being the kind of band to break out and have a big hit anyway, a goal that feels farther away now. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10


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February 16th 2011

bullshit! what angle is this? you did a great job of rewording the pitchfork review.  a band wants to write in a different direction these days and then they get beat up for it. settle down, drink a beer, get laid. the new album works!

Mark Redfern
February 17th 2011

T.S., this review was written long before the Pitchfork review was posted. It first appeared in Under the Radar’s Year-End print issue, which has been out since early December and Pitchfork’s review was posted January 26th. Just wanted to clear that up.

February 17th 2011

Roger! I’m laughing at myself now for the anger in the post. I thought I had checked the dates but obviously I was wrong. Thanks for setting me straight on that. Despite all the negative reviews, I am really dig’n the new LP. But, to each his own right? I kind of feel like a jackass.

Mark Redfern
February 17th 2011

No worries. At the end of the day, music criticism is subjective. And while our critic didn’t enjoy the record, I’m glad you did. We started Under the Radar because we love music and we want our readers to do the same. Thanks for reading!